View synonyms for magic


[ maj-ik ]


  1. the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring:

    to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.

  2. the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature. Compare contagious magic, imitative magic, sympathetic magic.

    Synonyms: enchantment

  3. the use of this art:

    Magic, it was believed, could drive illness from the body.

  4. the effects produced:

    the magic of recovery.

  5. power or influence exerted through this art:

    a wizard of great magic.

  6. any extraordinary or mystical influence, charm, power, etc.:

    the magic in a great name;

    the magic of music;

    the magic of spring.

  7. (initial capital letter) the U.S. code name for information from decrypting machine-enciphered Japanese wireless messages before and during World War II.


  1. employed in magic:

    magic spells;

    magic dances;

    magic rites.

  2. mysteriously enchanting; magical:

    magic beauty.

  3. of, relating to, or due to magic.
  4. producing the effects of magic; magical:

    a magic touch.

verb (used with object)

, mag·icked, mag·ick·ing.
  1. to create, transform, move, etc., by or as if by magic:

    I magicked him into a medieval knight.


/ ˈmædʒɪk /


  1. the art that, by use of spells, supposedly invokes supernatural powers to influence events; sorcery
  2. the practice of this art
  3. the practice of illusory tricks to entertain other people; conjuring
  4. any mysterious or extraordinary quality or power

    the magic of springtime

  5. like magic
    very quickly


  1. of or relating to magic

    a magic spell

  2. possessing or considered to possess mysterious powers

    a magic wand

  3. unaccountably enchanting

    magic beauty

  4. informal.
    wonderful; marvellous; exciting


  1. to transform or produce by or as if by magic
  2. foll by away to cause to disappear by or as if by magic

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Derived Forms

  • ˈmagically, adverb
  • ˈmagical, adjective

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Other Words From

  • quasi-magic adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of magic1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English magik(e) “witchcraft,” from Late Latin magica, Latin magicē, from Greek magikḗ, noun use of feminine of magikós “magical”; Magus, -ic

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Word History and Origins

Origin of magic1

C14: via Old French magique, from Greek magikē witchcraft, from magos magus

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Synonym Study

Magic, necromancy, sorcery, witchcraft imply producing results through mysterious influences or unexplained powers. Magic may have glamorous and attractive connotations; the other terms suggest the harmful and sinister. Magic is an art employing some occult force of nature: A hundred years ago television would have seemed to be magic. Necromancy is an art of prediction based on alleged communication with the dead (it is called “the black art,” because Greek nekrós, dead, was confused with Latin niger, black): Necromancy led to violating graves. Sorcery, originally divination by casting lots, came to mean supernatural knowledge gained through the aid of evil spirits, and often used for evil ends: spells and charms used in sorcery. Witchcraft especially suggests a malign kind of magic, often used against innocent victims: Those accused of witchcraft were executed.

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Example Sentences

The Nobel prize-winning psychologist Dan Kahneman has said it’s the “most significant of the cognitive biases” and the first thing he’d change about humans if he had a magic wand.

From Quartz

I think he might be wondering if something that some of us call “God” or “magic” is tied up with all of those still undiscovered mysteries.

From Vox

To get a little bit of that magic combination of determination and foresight, we asked them to tell us the best career advice they ever got.

From Fortune

It’s really about the experience and the learning and the people—the magic of the trail.

While she has turned in strong performances in those efforts, it’s in her own shows that Coel makes magic happen.

From Ozy

In the end, the line between magic and religion may be something of an artificial one.

“One of the producers on a story we were doing on the Orlando Magic told me about this young guy he really liked,” Jaffe said.

The future Mr. Vergara—and star of ‘True Blood’ and ‘Magic Mike’ shares some life advice in an exclusive video.

Despite all the gun talk in “Hot N—,” everyone wanted a piece of him and his magic.

Both Prados have enough magic that, after you visit them, the whole world feels like their gift shop for a few hours.

Here began indeed, in the drab surroundings of the workshop, in the silent mystery of the laboratory, the magic of the new age.

A tall phantom in livery appeared, as if by magic, and signed to me to ascend the grand staircase.

However, on reaching Spain, the magic of the Emperor's personality soon restored the vigour and prestige of the French arms.

All this I admit to be the fever of the mind—a waking dream—an illusion to which mesmerism or magic is but a frivolity.

On every side rose little islands, covered with small trees or underwood, lending a most magic appearance to the river.


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